Twenty-four, twenty-four, twenty-four hours to go, and there's a lot of room left to move on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Leaderboard. As the digital shredfest counts down, the clips are stacking and the judges are going to have their hands full.
With many scores still waiting to drop, hard-charging local Nathan Florence sits atop the men's rankings -- for now -- while upstart Zoë McDougall is riding high on the women's leaderboard. But anything can, and probably will, happen in the coming days as the final clips get uploaded. They're due by midnight on Friday, January 15th. After that, the judges have some time to digest this feast of surfing goodness and set scores to each submitted ride.
Before we get into what to watch out for, a quick refresher on how this year's digital Vans Triple Crown will be decided. Featuring the three iconic North Shore surf spots -- Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline -- the field of male and female competitors have been submitting their best waves from each location. Two waves from each spot will go into their final tally. Highest total score wins, and this year there will be both a male and female Triple Crown champ.
So, where are we at? As mentioned, Florence and McDougall are atop the leaderboard at the moment, but their position is tenuous at best given how much action has recently been uploaded to VansTripleCrownOfSurfing.com.
For the men, Torrey Meister is in second and Billy Kemper is in third. Meister has a decent two-wave total from Haleiwa, but has a lot of work to do at Sunset and Pipe. Kemper hasn't event been scored for a wave at Pipe yet and also needs to improve at Sunset.
And then there's two-time World Champ John John Florence currently in fourth. But Florence is probably in the best spot out of anybody. He has two banger scores from Haleiwa, but hasn't been scored for Pipe or Sunset. Given he just won the Pipe Masters last month, he's almost certain to come home strong in his backyard. And he's been surfing Sunset with his brother, Nathan. He literally has nowhere to go but up right now. And while there are still a heap of scores to drop, the smart money may be on Florence at this stage in the contest.
For the women, Mcdougall has banked scores from all three spots, but could stand to improve, especially at Sunset. If she goes on to this it will be thanks to a strong wave at Pipe. So far, out of all the women in the Top 5 on the leaderboard, she's the only one with a Pipe wave in her scoreline.Coco Ho sits in second with a strong performance at Sunset. After that it's three Aussies in Bronte Macaulay, Stephanie Gilmore and Nikki Van Dijk, respectively. However, strong Pipeline waves have been submitted but not scored by Moana Jones, Luana Silva, Malia Manuel and Tatiana Weston-Webb.
But as they say, there's a lot of time left on the clock. Four-time World Champ Carissa Moore has a couple of waves from Pipe and a beauty from Haleiwa that have yet to be scored. And eleven-time World Champ Kelly Slater is still waiting for his scores. And those are just the legends! There so much talent there that anything can happen in the next day.
As they say, watch this space.